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How to build a habit

by Alan Daniel
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It is about to be a new year and more people are going to make new years resolutions. These resolutions may come and go but old habits will still be there. They say that old habits die hard because humans are creatures of habit. While the world changes and brings new situations, events, and themes over time, our repetition of our regular patterns make up our lives.

If you Google the definition of habit you obtain this result – habit: a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.

Indeed, the fact of the matter is that our habits dictate our lifestyles. In essence, there is no superhuman on earth.

While some may think that Elon Musk and others in that same category are superhumans, they tend to practice different habits. The hyper-achievers you meet in life only become what they are by building good habits. In a sense, what we mistake for willpower is the hallmark of a habit.

In particular, the people with good habits made the bold decision to resist the temptation of hanging out on the couch, procrastinating on daily tasks, ordering greasy takeout, or watching a video before going out of their houses.To be more precise, they placed themselves in patterns where they didn’t have to rely on willpower, instead, they would rely on specific daily cycles.

Now, don’t mistake this piece for a motivational speaker’s script. It is not about motivation or inspiration. It is about understanding the practices that you follow each day and how they are impacting your life.

Here’s how to build a habit.

#1 Set a specific goal and stick to it

It is not just setting a good goal. It all boils down to sticking to the goal set to ensure that it is achieved. Remember, the way you define the goal you desire to turn into a habit speaks volumes. Don’t set abstract goals like “meditate daily.” Instead, have realistic goals like “I will meditate 10 minutes every day”.

#2 Create a plan


It is time to advance a roadmap (plan) that will make you achieve the goal you have set. You are most likely to achieve your goal if you decide what to do and remain cued towards doing it. Put the plan in your calendar and enable a digital reminder.

#3 Derive pleasure in repeating the practice


Habits don’t happen; they come from repeated activities. So do the activity you planned every day. In particular, have fun when doing the activity. It is the ‘fun’ element that gives you the desire to continue with the course. Remember, you are most likely to stick with an activity you enjoy.

#4 Find the proper social support


It would help if you had support to develop the desired habit. Remember, the journey will come with hurdles. In particular, social supports will not only involve having a team of cheerleaders around you. Instead, it will also incorporate the group of individuals who will hold you accountable. It would help if you told your family and friends about the goals you have set.

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